The NHL and NHLPA confirmed the salary cap for the 2022-23 season as expected: $82.5 million. Their verbiage was “payroll range.”
For rebuilding teams, the salary cap floor is also relevant: it’s at $61M, while the midpoint is $71.7M.
NHL salary cap ceiling set for $82.5M for 2022-23 season
Glancing at Cap Friendly, here are a few teams close to the NHL salary cap ceiling of $82.5M with the free agency and the draft nearing:
- The Golden Knights are basically at the cap ceiling, though their precise space is fuzzy with Shea Weber‘s contract LTIR-bound. (Vegas traded Evgenii Dadonov for Weber’s contract on Thursday.)
- Another LTIR situation of note is the Lightning with Brent Seabrook‘s contract. They’re bumping against the salary cap ceiling, but as in grand Lightning fashion, have some room to operate.
- The Canadiens are projected to be almost $2M under the NHL salary cap for 2022-23. That estimate is with 19 roster spots covered.
- The Bruins ($2.34M), Panthers ($3.074M), Flyers ($5.12M), and Sharks ($5.667M) rank among other teams with less than $6M in estimated space. Naturally, situations can vary based on who teams want to re-sign, and if they may try to trade out of pricey contracts. LTIR is another wild card, as well.
To little surprise, the Ducks, Sabres, Red Wings, and Coyotes stand out as NHL teams with massive salary cap space. Technically, the Flames and Avalanche both boast more than $25M in space apiece, yet that money will dry up quickly.
Salary cap space is also quite deceptive for the Penguins, who stare down free agent situations with Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang.
Once again, contending teams must contend with a salary cap that’s not exactly skyrocketing. It’s the sort of thing that has Nathan MacKinnon talking about escrow instead of Connor McDavid.
Nathan MacKinnon on the storyline of going against Connor McDavid: "Hopefully that gets more viewers and lowers escrow. Other than that I don't care."
— Peter Baugh (@Peter_Baugh) May 30, 2022
Eventually, you’d hope that record revenues will push the NHL salary cap up. That could still take some time.
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.